History

PURPOSE

Female representation on Alberta boards in the past has been low. We founded this organization to improve the female ratios on Alberta Boards across all sectors.

Our bold vision is for Alberta to be a national leader in female representation on boards.

HISTORY

Despite encouraging progress throughout the developed world, Canada continues to lag in terms of gender representation on boards, and Alberta is even farther behind. Women comprise 13% of board seats on Alberta-based companies on the TSX Composite Index; the national average is 21%.

Board Ready Women is a non-profit organization that has accepted this challenge and is making a meaningful difference by improving female representation on boards of various types of Alberta corporations across all industries. Since launching in July 2018, over 300 women have joined the BRW network and report the following:

We are thrilled with our success in such a short time but we know that this is just the beginning. We want to help these board aspired women because we know about the challenges they are going through from our personal experiences.

Our organization connects senior-ranking target participants who had an extended professional career, diverse experience, and remarkable professional accomplishments with recruiters and other board opportunities. We know that they are a great fit for many board positions and it is our goal to make the necessary connections to get these women into roles where they can make a significant contribution leveraging their experience, skills, and character. We foster an environment where the participants can build advantageous networks with existing Board members and one another.

Based on a survey with 107, 69 of which were target respondents.

Founders

Heather Culbert

President & Director

“ I am a proud Albertan and have had significant career opportunities in Calgary over the past 30 years. I am surrounded by strong women and men who have worked hard to develop an incredible track record of success in Corporate Calgary and our Community – regardless of the challenges. I encourage all of us to work together and develop better gender diversity and inclusion in the Board room as the current statistics in Alberta relative to the rest of Canada are lagging significantly. Let’s show leadership and recognize the value that all leaders, both women and men, can create together.”

Jennifer Koury

Director

“Alberta is full of talented and competent women who can add tremendous value to Boards across Canada in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. We know that women make a difference to the bottom-line and we need to leverage this talent. We believe that this initiative will support and encourage women in their board career journey, and I’m thrilled to part of this important work.”

Linda Hohol

Director

“I was appointed a VP at CIBC in 1988, one of the first female executives in banking at that time…..and 30 years later, not much has changed. Women represent half of our population, have equal and in some cases better education, and yet are underrepresented in boardrooms and leadership positions across Canada, but most particularly in Alberta. This must change. The diversity and perspective that women bring to leadership teams/boardrooms and their contribution to the discussions and decisions that take place in these environments, is incredibly valuable. Organizations and companies that miss this opportunity will not do as well, in my opinion.”

Catherine Samuel

Corporate Secretary

“The business case for diversity on boards and in corporate leadership is clear, yet women are still under-represented. We have an abundant talent pool of exceptional, qualified women in Western Canada who will add value to and strengthen organizations in Alberta and beyond. I am proud to be involved with Board Ready Women, which is helping to educate both men and women on the importance of diversity and inclusion in our corporate communities, providing mentorship and introducing board-qualified women leaders to boardroom networks. And I am very excited to be working with Heather, Linda and Jennifer on moving the dial.”

Sippy Chhina

Board Member / Treasurer

“Since moving to Calgary from India in 1985 I have had the privilege to enjoy a very rewarding career in the energy industry.  I have built deep relationships, done work that has been gratifying and I believe, made a meaningful contribution to my clients, my colleagues and my profession.  I believe Western Canada can continue to play a very important role in Canada’s economic landscape, more importantly we have to have a impactful voice in the future of energy.  I believe business will need to show up differently, more creatively in the road to economic recovery.  This is the value diversity can bring to Boardrooms, we don’t need to argue the business case anymore or the depth and breadth of a pool of competent women.  The one area Alberta lags significantly is the percentage of women on Boards of Alberta based companies.  We need to raise our game here, it will give our combined voice more credibility.  As such, it has been an absolute pleasure to be tapped on the shoulder, at this time,  to join Board ready Women to help bring a 360 view to Alberta’s business community.  I look forward to being a part of Board Ready Women to provide our corporate communities with an informed, fresh perspective that allows us to learn from history and versus just living in it.”     

Andrea Goertz

Board Advisor

“Canada’s place in a rapidly changing global context is of prime importance, and the competitiveness of our industries, our ability to attract foreign investment, and the strength of our economy is paramount. We need all of our experienced talent driving increased economic performance of our companies, building our society, and strengthening our communities, including women in our Boardrooms who lead with grit and grace.”